A/Prof Andrew Weickhardt: leading oncologist using cutting edge science and technology.

A patient once said this of Andrew Weickhardt:

I’m sitting on the wings of angels in a never ending circle of bliss and joy. And it’s all due to you and your spicy, clever and frightfully brilliant ways. You’re the man, the dude, the chic researcher and clinician in your crisp grey suit. I love you and what you have done and do. 

Andrew is a leading oncologist and he uses cutting edge science and technology to both save and improve the lives of people with cancer.

He has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, he is a teacher, a leader in his field and he leads with aplomb, he is a creator of hope and a mender of many. Andrew’s work is inspired by his patients and the tireless team around him.

Andrew’s doing will inspire you.

Interview transcript

Blake 0:00:00 – 0:00:08you are listening to inspiring stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary stuff. Welcome to the do Landers.
Blake 0:00:19 – 0:00:39show time It is, Nik. Welcome to the Do Landers episode 29. How are you, mate? Oh, good. How are you, Blake? Fantastic 2021 has to start to 2021 being you. Have you bound out of the blocks. Good start. False start. Have you pulled up with a twinge in the hammy?
Nik 0:00:39 – 0:00:53No. Gammy hammy Thankfully. And as you remember, we were on the do lander summer camp last week. And if you don’t know we’re talking about listen to Episode 28 Declan Fe to hear our little helpers who did the intro and outro for
Blake 0:00:53 – 0:00:55us. Where are they now?
Nik 0:00:55 – 0:01:04They’re in Ballarat. How they? Yeah, Yeah, grandparent’s place. Eso we had to do and a summer camp. And I feel pretty refreshed.
Blake 0:01:04 – 0:01:06Fantastic. How
Nik 0:01:06 – 0:01:07do you feel your 2020
Blake 0:01:07 – 0:01:24one? It’s been It’s been an amazing summer. It felt like I felt like I was in school holidays for you know, those endless summer days. It was amazing. It was great. Thio, have you and the David escrow at this summer’s camp? And, uh,
Nik 0:01:24 – 0:01:34here’s something for you. Do you always forget which day of the week it is during that period? Absolutely. It happens really quickly, doesn’t stop work and then what day is it?
Blake 0:01:35 – 0:01:46Amazing. Amazing. Now tell us a little bit about one of the very first amazing guests in 2021.
Nik 0:01:47 – 0:02:21Well, that is Dr Andrew Weichert, who’s our guest for today on he is a well, he wouldn’t want to describe himself as a medical hero, but certainly some of his patients have. And what you’re here today and you’ll give us a bit more information about this to Blake is a guy who didn’t really want to start cutting. So surgery wasn’t his thing, and that was all. Do Thio his ability to put together Ikea furniture, and he goes and explains about that. But the way in which he helps his patients is quite amazing.
Blake 0:02:21 – 0:04:02This man is absolutely amazing. He is whip smart, uh, so incredibly humble and weaken bang on and espouses virtues. But I just want to read something from one off Andrew’s patients. So this particular gentleman, his body was absolutely riddled with cancer, many, many tumors across his body, and basically he’d sort a number of doctors opinions. And he was told, Basically what you have is incurable. And that’s until he met Andrew and Andrew introduced him to, um, immunotherapy and an immunotherapy drug. And after a course of being on this drug, this particular gentleman went in, had some scans, and it showed that this man’s, um, immune system had fought against the cancer from basically eradicated those tumors on. This is the work that Andrew does. But here’s some words that this particular gentleman, Pento Andrew, said, I am sitting on the wings of angels in a never ending circle of bliss and joy. And it’s all due to you and your spicy, clever and frightfully brilliant ways. You are the man, the dude, the sheikh researcher, a clinician in your crisp gray suit. I love you, and what you have done enter here is Andrew Walker
Nik 0:04:03 – 0:04:05Blake. Do you like stories of people doing?
Blake 0:04:05 – 0:04:07I love stories of people doing Nik.
Nik 0:04:07 – 0:04:09Well, if you out there like stories
Blake 0:04:09 – 0:04:10of people doing
Nik 0:04:10 – 0:04:24and you want us to make more stories of people doing and like this podcast, subscribe and tell your mates, because the more people we have listening more episodes we can make. And that’s better for everyone out there who’s doing or wants to dio.
Blake 0:04:24 – 0:04:26And as Arnold would say,
Andrew Weickhardt 0:04:26 – 0:04:27Do it.
Blake 0:04:28 – 0:04:43Let me say I’ll be back. Rob, This place, this place. How are you, Andrew? Welcome to the Daily Landers.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:04:43 – 0:04:46Thank you so much for having me here. Pleasure,
Blake 0:04:46 – 0:04:48Nik. How are you? I’m still
Nik 0:04:48 – 0:04:49good. Like, Thank you.
Blake 0:04:49 – 0:05:01Fantastic. Me, Andrew, we put in lock down and we’ve got some new free. You found freedom. What have you done with your new found freedom of late?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:05:02 – 0:05:20It’s been fantastic, hasn’t it? Hasn’t. And, uh, I’ve been getting on my bike a loss and, uh, riding stupid long distances with a group of guys toe. Just get out and enjoy the outdoors and a bit of exercise and distract myself from stress at work. It’s been
Blake 0:05:20 – 0:05:21good. Where do you ride
Andrew Weickhardt 0:05:22 – 0:05:34love? Writing in the northeast. So up, Elsom War. Indict ST Andrews King like a sort of find beach road. Just a little bit busy and pushy. Yeah.
Blake 0:05:35 – 0:05:36Do you write up that way, Nik.
Nik 0:05:36 – 0:05:40Yeah, I do a little riding up there yet to encounter Andrew on the
Andrew Weickhardt 0:05:40 – 0:05:43bike. Probably too far ahead.
Blake 0:05:44 – 0:05:53Probably. Andrew, when you’re not writing crazy long distances, if you could tell our listeners that the land is what do you do?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:05:54 – 0:06:45So I’m a doctor and a medical oncologist in particular. So I look after men and women with, uh, janitor. Urinary cancer is my interest area. So that’s kidney or bladder or testicular prostate cancer. And I try and treat them with either chemotherapy or immune therapy, toe control or get rid of their cancer. In the best case circumstance, I’m also what’s called a general physician as well. So I look after at the Austin hospital, where I work patients who have complex medical issues where no one really wants to take ownership. And there’s sort of too many things going on. So, um, that’s a good role for teaching and learning, and more recently was on the covert unit at the Austin. So it’s been a busy year.
Blake 0:06:46 – 0:06:56It must have. Did it just go crazy like, How have you done your day job? Plus all of the covert response?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:06:57 – 0:08:24Yeah, it’s been really uninterested in year. And I think going back, I remember this, um, organization wide, Uh, talk that was given over Zoom where we all tuned in in April and people were gathering around computers in groups was a bit like listening toe Churchill. We’ll fight them on the beaches, getting the hospital ready for the preparation for what was initially quite manageable. It was it wasn’t too busy in the hospital, I think in that first period we had maybe at most 10 in patients at the time. But around that time I was asked whether or not I wanted to be part of the group of doctors looking after patients there and the good thing waas that I did have time at that particular point. I had one of my research projects that I was involved in, which was in the lab also doing some work, collaborating with some of the basic scientists. Um, they, um they asked whether or not I wanted to be on the wars and I said, Yes, you know, do that. And so over the last six months of sort of sort of a week here, a week there was on the covert warden it got busy certainly in August when we had about 15 patients and certainly I had to ask for more volunteers still to start the unit.
Blake 0:08:26 – 0:08:30What was the mood of the war in the time in August, At the heart of it,
Andrew Weickhardt 0:08:34 – 0:09:37there was a great team atmosphere off working for some greater good. But there was also nervousness amongst the staff because, as we saw in other hospitals and ultimately also at the Austin, you know, the staff were at risk of getting covert. And ultimately, I think everyone probably had the same feeling as idea at times, which was I can deal with volunteering my own time. I couldn’t deal with the risk, which was low, but I don’t wanna catch it. Take it home and for my wife and kids toe, get it. And so putting other people at risk. And I think there was that kind of palpable sort of nervousness about working on the ward. But that was shielded by having such a good team, and particularly the Austin, which was led by some of the infectious diseases experts working with us in general medicine. I think they created a really good um well oiled unit to get everything sorted. Yeah,
Nik 0:09:37 – 0:09:41and how well prepared was for Australian hospitals for this.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:09:43 – 0:11:18I think they were lucky. And they had a test run in that first month or two in March and April and here in Melbourne. Then when we had that second wave hit us in July and August, I think people had the procedures in place and by shutting down surgery and diverting resources, were able to take over a few wards, for instance, in the hospital on, I think prepared in the extent that we had a great backup and support from actually hospital admin, um, in diverting resources where it was needed, So it never felt unsupported. But it just certainly felt at the peak as if, you know, if it was pushed just one or two more weeks mawr than it. Waas. Um you know, crack big cracks would have, um, came about and certainly, you know, the hospital staff contracting co Vered, you know, catching it in the tea room where all of a sudden had come toe work and say one entire shift of the nurses had been told to go home because three or four of them had contracted covert. And so there’s a new staff on the war. You’re like, Wow, this is getting riel. You know, one of the registrar’s I worked with junior doctors that had worked with got co Vered. You know, I thought wow, like, you know, I’ve worked with this doctor, and now he’s, you know, at home, you sort of feel personally responsible is the senior doctor in that situation. Um, so, yeah, it was It was sort of touch and go at the peak that I think, luckily, of course, went out down toe Siris of double digits, extending on
Blake 0:11:19 – 0:11:59amazing work. And, you know, thank you to you and all of the team around every hospital for for doing what they did. I mean, you know, if you look at what’s going on in Europe and America, where we’re so I’m going to say lucky, but what we did to get to where we’ve got to is amazing. We have carved out a bit of time in your day. You’ve left the hospital, come and talk to us. And we’re really grateful for the time that you’re spending with us with the conversations that we have with our guests. We generally like to go back to the start and start on day. Talk about your journey where it’ll start for Andrew Wyke out. Where were you Born?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:11:59 – 0:12:59He was born here in Melbourne and grab not too far from here and I grew up in a family That was great fun, supportive. Mom and Dad were interested and supportive of our education going forward, and I looked after my mom was a teacher originally, and my dad was interested in science and originally then went into business. But both of them had a guess. Time in their day and night to help us whenever we came home from school. If we ever had any issues and really encouraged us toe get involved at school and community, Um, through the that that sort of ethos of being involved in the community and so forth, I think still sticks with me today from my parents on DTI brothers who are Why is there a keep you honest? I guess.
Blake 0:12:59 – 0:13:01What’s the age? The ages of
Andrew Weickhardt 0:13:01 – 0:13:16your brothers? Eso Dave’s older. He’s a couple of years older, and, uh, my younger brother Greg is only three years younger, so three boys and growing up in that environment, there’s always a good bit of competition. Yeah,
Blake 0:13:17 – 0:13:30full disclosure. As you know, I worked with your brother, Dave. Attn. Wiebe. Um, great man. But as you like to say, clearly you’re the smartest brother in the family.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:13:30 – 0:13:31You didn’t
Blake 0:13:31 – 0:13:37say that. I said that was it? So what sort of business did your date go into?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:13:37 – 0:14:02Hey was involved through the chemicals business I C i, which became Orica on. So he worked there, and, yeah, here. Hey, was always, um, great to be able to help and ask for assistance in, you know, later years of school sort of advice on, you know, the old chemistry project or something. Instead of a chemist at heart
Blake 0:14:03 – 0:14:07sport. Play a role in your childhood. Were you into it? Yeah.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:14:08 – 0:14:49I was not great at sport then. I’m not fantastic now, but I I enjoyed a hit. A tennis. I played in the school hockey team, but, you know, I was in the bees and I think I probably felt like I was coughing up along if I ever ran more than a kilometer or got on a bike ride and did more than half a now on the bikes. I was by no means a sportsman back then. And it’s only actually in the last probably 10, 15 years that have sort of realized that. Actually, I need sport and see its utility and being a great social. Um uh, sort of networking thing. Not networking, but just great to hang out with friends and doing sport.
Blake 0:14:50 – 0:14:53And now you just bang out of Lazy 100. Cut here and
Andrew Weickhardt 0:14:53 – 0:14:54there on,
Blake 0:14:54 – 0:15:06we’ll come to that. We’ll come to that you might might not have been into, you know, a lot of sport, but teacher a twinkle toes. You loved a bit of ballroom dancing. Tell us about tell us a bit about that.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:15:06 – 0:16:16Well, yeah, I went to an all boys school and I think the socially acceptable thing in the fifties and sixties waas for your Children to go to ballroom dancing classes. Eso full disclosure. I was born in the late seventies and, uh, in the early nineties when I got to the age where, you know, I don’t know boys school. Uh, it probably wasn’t appropriate to do ballroom dancing a za way of meeting girls. My parents said, Well, I think you should go to the ballroom dancing and you know, you’ll meet some girls from M L C or, you know, and full disclosure here. The funny thing is, actually, uh, my parents met at the same ballroom dancing E o they really They did. They did. So maybe in the back of my mind, I was like, Well, look, it worked out for you to formula. I’ll see. I’ll see. You know, see how I go if I get lucky. And luckily enough, I mean, I met my future wife, but ballroom dancing Andi, uh, the anchor and I have been dating since it was 17 and, uh, married for over coming up to 15 years now. So
Blake 0:16:16 – 0:16:17that’s amazing.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:16:18 – 0:16:39And how often do you ballroom dance to get off? It’s only, you know, at the end of weddings when someone plays a song and there’s always the guy that’s had too much to drink trying to 12 his wife around. Yeah, that would be made either that either that or the caterpillar on my signature moves
Blake 0:16:39 – 0:16:39Caterpillar.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:16:40 – 0:16:57Is that different to the worm? Are you the worm? Yeah. The worm. Yeah, Yeah, the worm e. I probably looked like a cat. E think that’s why I’m describing it. That was no longer than a worm. Yeah, and I don’t really bounce. Sort of does morph lately,
Blake 0:16:57 – 0:17:16right? Actually, we spoke to a guy, uh, previous episode who broke a toe during the worm because he got so much air came down on his. So anyway, useless fact your grandfather Yeah, Haddon, 80th birthday and got up and made a speech. Tell us about that.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:17:16 – 0:19:30You know, the funny moment in retrospect s Oh, my dad’s dad Waas a really amazingly generous guy on guy did an amazing, um, a few things with his career. He was the chancellor of Melbourne uni for several years and, uh, who was heavily involved in a lot of different organizations around town. So it’s influential. And so at his 80th, which was held it, you know, one of these Australia club type venues got up in front of all his friends and family and we were invited. His Children toe sit and listen and, uh, in his talk, you know, he got up and reflected on his life, and I think at the time, I was probably about 13 14 and at that time, I had not being great in my last couple of years at school. I was not sure what I wanted to do with myself. I think I was sitting there listening to this talk when he got to the point about family, and he said, I want to point out how proud I am of my grandson’s Dave. Why cart? He’s just been selected to represent Australia for the International Physics Olympiad. Eyes that true? Yes, Yeah, He went across to the US and was one of three or four very talented school kids who did maths and physics equations and, uh, represented Australia. So he had been selected for that, which, you know, Grandfather raised the toast of that. And then he said, My grandfather said, And I’d also like Thio, reflect on the success of Greg White Cart, who’s been an amazing, amazing, talented running and being selected to represent the local club. But the state championships in Little Athletics. And, uh and then that was it. And at the time I was like, Oh, that’s awkward And that night my parents came into the bedroom and said, Oh, we had a chat with Grandpa and, you know, feeling a bit bad that he didn’t mention you. And to be honest, I don’t know what he would have mentioned.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:19:30 – 0:21:24You know, Andrew gotta see on his science at school. It just paled in comparison to my brothers. And, you know, my parents said, Look, you know, Grandpa is sure that you’re going to go on to bigger and better things, so don’t worry about that. And, uh, I don’t think it at the time. It really, uh, influenced or change what I do with my life. Because I think, actually, as time went by at school, I was lucky enough to have a few really good teachers. That sort of inspired me and so forth. But, you know, at the back of my mind, I’m like, Well, my brothers, you know, maybe I should actually lift a finger and do some work here. Did he give you a book? He did. He get He was a big one for the old birthday present, which you’d look at and think. Well, I’m probably not going to read that one, because it’s a hardcover history of Australian mining in the Outback. BHP. Um, but, you know, one year. I think when I was about 16 coming for the last couple of years of school, he gave me a book about these doctors who worked in New York, which is a true story about these researchers that came out with an idea to try and treat cancer injecting viruses into the cancer at this cancer hospital called Memorial Sloan Kettering. And I’m sure I didn’t read the whole book. But I actually glance through it over summer and looked at it and thought you That’s pretty interesting. You know, this sort of concept of using science to be able to treat patients and come up with these cool ideas sort of sounds wacky. But if it worked, be amazing and probably influenced me to some extent, actually, the thought that I could help people and be involved in people’s lives, and that was a sort of a strong suit of me. I’m a bit of a talker, and I wasn’t that interested in business.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:21:24 – 0:21:37And so I thought, you know, at the time, maybe I should try and work hard, and I am for medicine, which, you know, I was lucky enough of school toe do well enough to get into medicine, and that’s where the sort of career began. One
Nik 0:21:37 – 0:21:46of those kids that had a fallback plan, it was like medicine. I’ll shoot for that. But if I don’t get into that, I’ll do something else. Or was it just when she decided that was it?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:21:48 – 0:22:32I think at the back of my mind, I thought engineering, you know, doing something like science, engineering and maybe going toe. You know, a lot of work for a large science focus company would have been a good and rewarding career. And s I had a bit of a fallback plan, I think. Physiotherapy. You know, it occurred to me as being a possible other career, but I was pretty single minded by the time I got to year 12 that I had something toe work for and driven toe sort of study, Um, and work hard for that goal. And I think that was really helpful Toe, have you know, quite a high Bart. A jump to really focus the mind in year 12.
Blake 0:22:33 – 0:22:48So is the focus on becoming a doctor and doing medicine. Thio, help people earn a truckload of cash. What was the I guess your thought process behind that,
Andrew Weickhardt 0:22:50 – 0:24:03Uh, I think it was a combination of a number of different factors. And I think the ability toe have, uh, way of interacting with people where you are pivotal to their health and happiness at times and in some medical specialties. Um, you know, you can really transform people’s lives with the simple things such Aziz doing a knee replacement or helping people see better by replacing their cataracts or treating their cancer. And that really appealed to me toe sort of have this relationship with, um, my patients. And then I think I really just was fascinated by the biology and the constantly changing knowledge level in the career. So that in what you knew five years ago sounds like you were using leeches, you know, in in, you know, in contrast to what we’re doing now, right like that, it’s changed so much. And so I really thought that would be really interesting work place to be and where you’ve got to be on your game and sort of continually lifelong learning, right?
Blake 0:24:04 – 0:24:13Clearly you love learning. You must you must. Because if you if you are lifelong learning, you’re continuing continuing to have toe sharpen the sore.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:24:13 – 0:25:10Sure I did. When you say you love learning, I was laughing because at the end of year 12, I was asked toe, go to Melbourne. Union shows, um, you nine students around, even though I wasn’t at uni, they said I look, you know, you got into medicine. We’ve got some other, you know, nerdy science people like you that a starting uni. Do you want to come in and show the little kids around the lab? And there was a photographer from the Herald sun, and, uh, they made me wear a lab coat and stand in front of a few beakers on and and, you know, have a few saw a few, you know, younger kids around. And there’s the big headline in the Herald Sun. Ah, photo of me. Because it was over summer. Of course, there’s not much. Was Andrew love science? And that was my first press peace. And yeah, one of my friends, Penny still has got that cut out. Andrew Love science. It’s just earmarked as the nerd. I love it. Yeah, I
Blake 0:25:10 – 0:25:12hope you cut it out and gave it to your grandfather.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:25:12 – 0:25:14Yeah. Look,
Blake 0:25:14 – 0:25:19at that map. Have the other boys made it to the pipe yet? Maybe dive did with these?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:25:19 – 0:25:20Yeah, with
Blake 0:25:20 – 0:25:23his Olympics. Did he win those Olympics? Or
Andrew Weickhardt 0:25:24 – 0:25:36I think it did very well. I think it’s the kind of thing where you know, one or two people get a medal. Anyone gets the letter of commendation. That’s kind of hard to work out where you actually come. But I should ask him about that. Didn’t
Blake 0:25:36 – 0:25:36make the drill it
Andrew Weickhardt 0:25:36 – 0:25:36down.
Blake 0:25:39 – 0:25:49So in your mind, your headed off toe, you need to become a doctor. Yeah. How was where did you go to get it? By the way,
Andrew Weickhardt 0:25:49 – 0:26:41when do you need at Melbourne University? Yeah, which at the time was a six year degree where the first three years was spent entirely outside the hospital system and doing very basic biology and science. Um, some of which is completely irrelevant to what you do is being a doctor, and thankfully, is being phased out. But you know, someone back in the day thought you should do physics and learn about, you know, organic chemistry and so forth in your first year. And then you might be smart enough in your second year to learn about DNA and so forth on. Then, in the last three years, you go into the hospitals and work in the hospitals. So it’s a bit of a grueling degree because you have friends who dio arts. You have only 10 contact hours and you’re doing 40 hours a week, you know, studying hard for your exams. That’s like you
Nik 0:26:41 – 0:26:44specifically targeting dance for
Andrew Weickhardt 0:26:44 – 0:26:52Yeah, you know, shout out to Dan? Yeah, he did only about nine contact hours a semester.
Blake 0:26:52 – 0:27:14That, like that must be daunting. Though. You walk in, you got so many contact hours you’re studying morning, noon and night. Yeah, I got six years ahead of me. That’s some dedication. And, um, and a while you might say we’re doing the arts or whatever. They’re doing a route, you know, at the possible,
Andrew Weickhardt 0:27:15 – 0:28:17it’s tricky, But I think what happens in that environment is, um firstly, you well supported by the group of friends you make in med school that are in the trenches with you. So Okay, it’s ah, lot of contact hours, but you got your mates in the lecture and you’re studying together. You know, bit of boot camp on the weekend when you’re trying to brush up before your exams and also it’s stuff which is important and interesting. And it’s important because you’re about to become a doctor and you don’t want toe arrive in the emergency department where someone’s having a heart attack and not know what to do. It’s not abstract. And so as we went through higher and higher through med school, you began to realize it was actually important and sensible to try and do some study toe brush up because you wanted to be helpful and also correct in how you treated patients. But
Blake 0:28:17 – 0:28:31what you’re doing Did you ever consider up? Uh, I guess the dedication thio, that part of your learning and craft and sacrifice, or was it just part and parcel of what you’re doing?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:28:32 – 0:29:29Wasn’t really a sacrifice. I think it was part of parcel of what we’re doing. And, you know, I think I’m in a profession where we’re lucky to be well paid for what we do. And so aware of the fact that fortunate enough, a swell that there’s a job at the end of the line that’s guaranteed by the government as a junior doctor for your first year and likely to be a job there afterwards. So I think nowadays I can see the way that they’ve changed the course and the entry requirements that perhaps a little bit harder for post graduates in medicine. Some of the postgraduates going through might have changed career or have young kids or, you know, mortgages and so forth. So I think taking more time off almost think now it’s probably a bit more of a sacrifice coming into medicine a bit later. It’s been easier for us is younger students
Blake 0:29:30 – 0:29:33A couple of years in, you had a bit of a gap you had that will come about.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:29:34 – 0:31:04Yeah, I was good. I was in my Yeah, given the ultimatum, That’s right. So I was in my fifth year and looking to complete my final year when my, uh, my wife Bianca, girlfriend at the time came to me and said, Well, I’ve finished university and I’m a speech pathologist. I can goto London and earn, you know, £40 an hours, a speech pathologist back when you know it was a 3 to 1 ratio for the pound, so it seemed amazing and then I want to travel around Europe. I’ve never really thought about taking a year off. And I was healthfully pressured, I’d say by be anchored just saying she was going to do it. Andi, I guess I saw the attraction as well. I loved traveling, and I was lucky enough that the focus of when I was growing up in my family was not about buying fast cars or, you know, expensive clothes was about saving up to travel overseas and have those family experiences. So I really was attracted to the idea of, um, travel and taking a year off. And it so happened that I was doing an elective at the end of my fifth year in Africa in Kenya. But I teed us. So I worked out that what I could do is go to Kenya for two months and then go and meet my wife in the UK, work for a few months and then travel around the world. And it was one of the best years of my life.
Blake 0:31:06 – 0:31:07What did you learn in Kenya?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:31:09 – 0:33:11I learned that I didn’t know much about African medicine, what tropical medicine, and that as five years of you know, working in a hospital and learning Western medicine couldn’t equipped you for a lack of resource is and the difficulties in treating someone in a very resource starved setting. And I was working in an area of Kenya which was in north of Nairobi. Ah, fairly inverted commas, wealthy part of Kenya, where there were farmers who ultimately thio get to the hospital I was at which was a missionary hospital set up by the church but dependent on continuous its existence by asking people to pay to be part of to come to our hospital rather than the hospital down the road, which was state run and even worse. Um, I found out that was really challenging because every test you did that was a bill for the patient that they had to pay for. So, you know, if you thought they had malaria, you do a blood test and send it off. Well, that’s gonna cost this patient, you know, 10% off the annual income. Onda cost was really high. Actually, um, you know, in actual sort of annual income, sort of amounts the sort of what? The hospital that I was working at that I thought was a missionary hospital and it was doing good work. Don’t get me wrong, but it’s still charged. Thes villages. Probably about six months of their annual income for a one week, two weeks day. Yeah, So it’s sort of like the U S. Health system, right? Like, you know, you hear about those crazy bills. Will these poor people in Africa we’re paying for that? And I was there, Doctor helping out. And so it made me realize my own deficiencies. And it made me realize that I needed Thio go back and do some or study if I wanted to go back out there and actually continue working there because it’s it is very challenging, quite different to how we work.
Blake 0:33:13 – 0:33:23You joined the anchor in the UK She’s doing some great work getting paid of Matsa. Um, you’re doing Cem different
Andrew Weickhardt 0:33:23 – 0:35:23work. Well, I turned up and I wanted to try and work as some doctor’s assistant or something, you know? Hey, I’ve done five years of medical school at the best medical school in Melbourne. Can I get a job in that type of field? But there was really nothing and we’re living outside London about an hour from there in a fairly poor area of can’t. I’m called Fanis. And this town that I was in particularly Margate, really lacked many sort of good job opportunities. So I was just down at the local employment agency. Try continually hawk my wares. And it got to the point where I was accepting jobs that say, the bolt factory, where even the people at the Employment Employment Agency were like way. Don’t think this is for you. I’m like it pays £10 an hour. I’m not doing anything. Eso You know that particular job? One of many weird ones that I did in that few months, was, uh, at a bolt factory where the bolt factory had a contract with the NHS, where they would supply the bolts that would hold in the hospital curtain rails. So the curtain rails were suspended by metal, you know, 1 m sort of long rod and the rod would be connected to a ball to the ceiling. And so what you want in a hospital is a safety system so that if someone hangs themselves, the bolts will pull out of the ceiling. But you want them strong enough to be able to withstand. You know, the force of doctors ripping open curtains, right? So there was sort of a phenomenal 40 kg 30 kg weight that they said We have to test 10,000 volts to make sure that all of them give way at a 30 kg white right and a Q and A process was required, which I’m sure these days is done by a robot or some other process. But back in the day, they just said, Look, his 10,000 bolts in a bucket And here’s another bucket full of cement that weighs 30 kg.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:35:23 – 0:36:01We just want you to tie Cem cord to the bolt on, accord to the bucket and then, like, just lifted up on show that it gives way and sort of simulate, you know, the effect of someone hanging themselves from hospital curtains. Yeah, and there was, like, three days of hard labor, you know, really weird job where there was some tough guys in that factory, I can assure you, and, uh, that’s there. I discovered a love for audio books because you put on in order, you know, uh, set of headphones and listen to something on that and you can really get through some really trivial labor. But it was an odd job for sure.
Blake 0:36:01 – 0:36:05That is another job. I was gonna ask you what you learned, but
Andrew Weickhardt 0:36:06 – 0:36:09the only way to get through is audiobooks. Assistance? Yeah.
Blake 0:36:11 – 0:36:15So after that, that gap eu come back, finish your studies?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:36:16 – 0:36:44Yeah, I came back and I finished med school. And, um, after that, used to go and become an intern. Junior doctor. And it’s there, as a junior doctor that you have toe in the first couple of years after med school really work out what sort of specialty you wanna dio. And I wasn’t really quite sure what I wanted to dio. I’ve done well at med school. I thought, love toe. You
Blake 0:36:44 – 0:36:59said you’ve done well. So 2002, 1st place, student, final year and overall for six years. So you’ve done a little bit better than Well, amazing. Just hard work and persistence.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:36:59 – 0:38:04Yeah, I think there was, um, some hard work. But also I found, as I was saying earlier, I was really motivated to do that hard work by thinking I wanted to be a good doctor. So you know eyes not I’m just necessarily academic success. But it was also I wanna be a really good doctor and I wanna be able to know what to do when I, um a junior doctor. And the other issue that comes up is when you’re towards the end of med school, you realize you have to make a decision about what sort of career you want on. Instead of at that time, I was sort of mulling around in my head whether or not I wanted Thio do a career where I could work only a few hours awake and a stack load of money, do a cushy specialty. And to get into one of those specialties like ophthalmology, you had to do well at med school, you know, a sort of an attractive, you know, um, entry criteria that you needed that to get into those that especially these
Blake 0:38:06 – 0:38:19So ophthalmology, oncology? Was there any other thought processes? And how did you or, you know, disciplines that you were thinking about? And how did you arrive at what you do today?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:38:20 – 0:40:21Yeah, I was superficially attracted to ophthalmology because there, as I said, very well paid some and multimillion dollar salaries by helping people’s vision. It’s not a trivial thing, right? These people who have even in just a cataract, taken out, you know, very thankful for us. And they can, you know, obviously have a great relationship with the ophthalmologist. But the ophthalmologists these days are making a killing, doing those sort of procedures because they’re sort of overpaid for the amount of time it takes and can get through a lot. So I thought that would be pretty nice toe do that sort of job and work a few days a week and no own a winery, Beach house? I don’t know. It was just, you know, why not use my great mark to do that? And then I actually rotated through ophthalmology on Bond, applied for the training program at an early age, just missed out on I had a another year to sort of tread water, was told. Look, just apply next year, and we’re confident you’ll just get through. Um, you know, you should be fine. Um, but I needed to pick some different jobs toe work on the next year, and one of those was rotating through an oncology ward, and it was there that I met. Firstly, Cem great mentors and doctors that were really interested in the medicine that they were using to treat patients. And so I’d go to meetings. You know, after being at work all day and hear about these new drugs that were transforming the lives of some of these patients that they were looking after Because instead of using chemotherapy, they were using very targeted drugs to block the pathways that the cancer was using, Um, and was harnessing the sort of ability to work out. You know how a cancer was growing. Use a sort of magic bullet, if you will, to treat those cancers and seeing some great results.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:40:21 – 0:41:36And I think ultimately that began to attract me. And then one day I was doing a night shift, and I came across this young dad who had photos on his wall of his little kids and is being treated for leukemia with, um arsenic, Um uh, and bottom. And I, um, you know, retinoic acid. So he was being treated with a strange drugs. I was just looking at his drug child. I had to go and review him because it was quite sick and you know I did this. I had this chat with this guy who was just getting through his treatment. It was working well, but he’s pretty sick that night from an infection. But I sat in that room and thought, like, how cool would it be toe, you know, come up with an idea like this to be able to treat cancer or even just use these sort of drugs to really transform someone’s life, who, you know, clearly so important. Young dad and I thought e shouldn’t I should stop kidding myself. Like I would find that a more meaningful career. And it was also at the time I realized I’d just be terrible, it operating under pressure as well in the operating theater, Um and so would be much better suited to that sort of career. Yeah.
Blake 0:41:38 – 0:41:48When did you realize that you wouldn’t be ableto or, you know, operating under pressure in front of paper was challenging for you?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:41:48 – 0:43:30Yes. Some people are great at it. I’ve got a few friends who are surgeons, and they thrive under the pressure and find it a very, um you know, the challenges what they, um, live for and their brain worked really well in that process. But I had actually, at the end of my ophthalmology term just before I went and did this rotation in oncology been in the operating theater with the eye surgeon who, up until that point had done a Siris of operations that looks so fluid and so simple that I thought, well, I could do that. And he got to this one operation where it’s trying to fix the, um, uh, muscle in a young kids I and sort of stitch that back up. And it wasn’t working. Um, And it just kept on, you know, failing what he was trying to do. And I could see him under increased pressure and then ether, this was looking at him, and everyone in the operating theater was like, Dude, you know, it’s lunchtime like we need to be out of here on. No one said anything to him, but you could just palpably feel the atmosphere. And this is just a minor operation on. I thought, Oh, could I perform in that kind of environment? And I really started to think about the times where Bianca had asked me to say, Sit up in Ikea furniture set. Maybe we’re running late for dinner. And, you know, being looking at me while I was trying to put the screws in and realized that all of those times they were like a moment of dread where I was just sweating palpitations and not performing well in that pressure environment, I thought, you know, maybe operating on people’s eyes micro millimeters of their retina, it might not be for me. Yeah.
Blake 0:43:30 – 0:43:32You’re the lnk shaking.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:43:33 – 0:43:42Yeah, Yeah. I e mean, you know, maybe millions of Australians should be happy that they have their vision preserved because I didn’t become a nice surgeon.
Blake 0:43:42 – 0:43:47Well, thank goodness you’ve, uh, chose what you chose so from you made the choice.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:43:47 – 0:43:47Yeah.
Blake 0:43:48 – 0:43:51And where did that take your career?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:43:51 – 0:45:07Yeah, I wanted to do oncology. And that required a few years. Sort of learning. Ah, lot of different subspecialties in internal medicine on it’s called Physician’s Training here in Australia. So you do three years rotating in the hospital with an exam after three years. Um, and that was fantastic because I worked with a great crew here of the Royal Melbourne Hospital in town and some, you know, really fantastic physicians, senior doctors that we’re interested in helping you learn and teach and got me through those exams and applied to get into the training program of oncology and then subsequently worked mostly at the Austin Hospital. And that’s when I realized that Thio really do what I wanted to do within oncology, which was to be both a doctor that treats patients but also to bay Dr that does research both clinical trials of new drugs and toe try and develop drugs right from the early phase, and also to try and work with laboratory scientists that don’t actually treat patients. But come up with these cool ideas,
Blake 0:45:08 – 0:45:37hair rewarding. Is it to be ableto yeah, make someone produce something that perhaps hasn’t been given thio patients before and to give it to them and the thing actually works and it takes their cancer. Why, it must be amazing. You must you must give you such gratification.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:45:37 – 0:47:42Yeah, it’s amazing feeling, and I feel so grateful that I am working in a time where we have new drugs that have developed where we’re giving those opportunities to our patients. And when I started, those opportunities were rare and few between, and we were using a lot of chemotherapy drugs. And now, in the last few years, we’ve really moved as a profession, toe being smarter and how we choose our treatments and in particularly in the last 5 to 10 years, harnessing the bodies own immune system to treat cancer. And so, you know, to have the ability toe have a discussion with the patient who has advanced cancer. Um, say, Look, I think we’ve got a clinical trial here at the Cancer Center where I work at the Olivia Newton John Cancer Center, a trial that we’ve set up and developed here and the team have developed that might be suitable for you of some new immune therapy in combination. Let’s give that a go and then saying that patient have the cancer just disappeared from the scans where you know this young father, the one I’m thinking off that I looked after just a couple of years ago, You know, the cancer disappeared from the scans, and it was just so rewarding to see him get back into life and toe resume sort of normal activities rather than thing dead or suffering tremendously from the cancer as it progressed. And it’s just such a great feeling. And it’s not, unfortunately, what happens Thio many of our patients and it’s got a change. You know, I’m only talking about the chances of this happening in a few cancers and only maybe five toe. 10% of our patients have that sort of miraculously outcome in a few different cancers. But it’s a great sort of stimulus for further research when you’ve seen it and you think, Wow, well, we think nothing can be done now.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:47:42 – 0:47:46But that’s what we thought five years ago in this cancer. And now look at it. Yeah,
Blake 0:47:46 – 0:48:06and that that change in just that five year period from what you described is we’re came out, came out, came out, and now you’re running all of these trials. So the next five years, with that rate of change, you’ve got to be super optimistic about Yeah, yeah, yeah,
Andrew Weickhardt 0:48:07 – 0:48:37that’s fantastic, because in my work I get to go to meetings virtually now. But, you know, before you travel to international conferences and meet really smart people and talk to them about their ideas, and then try and think about how toe work with those that are concepts, or try and incorporate these new ideas back into my own work and help patients. So it’s constantly changing, and it’s a set, a great career. For that reason, you’ve just got to be on your toes.
Blake 0:48:39 – 0:48:59What about the flip side where patients that you get to know personally, um, invest whole lot of time into Don’t make it? How do you be killed? How do you deal with that? A guy and a guy and a guy?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:49:01 – 0:51:03It is definitely the most challenging aspect of the job where we look after people on their journey with metastatic cancer who die from their cancer and suffer at the same time. Because as their cancer grows, they have symptoms, and it is a real challenge. I think Thio be ableto work in that environment. You need to be ableto Firstly, I think have an objective perspective about what is achievable and what isn’t. And so uh, you can’t go into the mindset off disappointment when the cancer begins growing. You know you can’t take it personally, is a physician and it wasn’t something you did particularly wrong, but you’ve got almost take a step back. Um from that and just focus on doing the best by the patient to be able to help them in their suffering and be with them. I think you know, being with someone that concept of, um, you know, sort of accompanying them on a journey as they die, you know, and being supportive and really helpful to say their partners and family so valuable. And so you get feedback from the family afterwards with, you know, the family come back and say Thank you so much for taking care of my relative. And even though you didn’t cure them, you supported them through a really tough process. And I think I can focus on that and be that sort of in that role. And then thirdly, I think it’s just so integral and important toe have a life outside medicine. And to me, that’s the family and the kids. My exercise and, you know, they sort of distracters dead.
Blake 0:51:04 – 0:51:59Thank goodness you chose oncology because, like just the way that you described just sitting across, you can tell the absolute care that you have for what you do, and it’s what about the cash and the Ferrari and the blah blah, blah. Um, does does the perspective that you ch day make you more present when you’re when you’re at home with your family. Do you need toe work at that? Because I would imagine, like, you know, we’ve had a hard day at work, and yeah, it is. It’s the jobs that Nik and Ideo are life and death. And you can close the door and find a way to turn it off. Can you find that way to turn it off? Is there a way to turn it off?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:52:00 – 0:53:13Thanks. Yes, strangely, um, I find it relatively easy, I think now, after several years of working in this area, and I think maybe that some of that genetic guy sort of grew up with a mother who still, you know, seventies is extraordinarily active and involved in a lot of different things. And I love doing that with my life outside, I think, Look, just gonna make use of my life and do as many experiential things as possible. You know, both of the kids with travel and, um, sport and community organizations that I’m involved in, You know, I want to get involved and and be focused on that. So although during locked down like, a lot of people have been binging a lot of TV at night. You know, most years I’m normally, you know, at tennis one night or helping out at cubs the other night or, you know, planning their family holiday or on the exercise bike. So there’s yeah, that that really pivotal. Um, part of me is to try and just use what time you’ve got, you know, hug your kids when you get home, because you never know that kind of thing. Yeah,
Nik 0:53:13 – 0:53:39a lot of the people in lock down like the toilet paper. Panic purchasing was meant to be, it was told was all about control. Yet a lot of your job has a lot of uncertainty about it. What works for one patient may not work for the next patient. How do you deal with that uncertainty with job when people typically crave control and knowing some sort of outcome?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:53:42 – 0:55:01Yeah, that is a problem in what I do in that there’s always patients that I look after that a bit unstable. And, you know, I’m uncertain about how they will, um, go with the treatment that I’ve given them on. I think I found it really important to just work in a team environment that you know so that the Libyan You and John Cancer Center work with other colleagues that can really support and provide feedback to me about what’s happening, say, with the difficult patient and sort of help reinforce. If I have a sense of uncertainty about what’s happening with my patients, be able to get great feedback and sort of have a good I’m support network for that. It’s really important to sort of have that debriefing aspect as well. With colleagues on I’m a member of a WhatsApp group, say, with 20 to 30 leading oncologists who are interested in genital urinary cancer in my particular field. So we have, ah, sort of a almost daily someone throws a question out. I’m really uncertain about what I should do in this situation. What would people do? And there’s, you know, a great sort of feedback and, um, get advice on you know how to help on do things a bit better. So I found that a really useful sounding board, too.
Blake 0:55:03 – 0:55:21You’ve got, uh, a pretty large time in and around the work that you dio if you think about, um, you was a late up Ah, What? What to you try to bring to your team on a day to day basis?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:55:24 – 0:56:46I’d like to think that what I bring is, ah, a sense of warmth, enthusiasm and camaraderie and mentor ship. So I feel like they’re sort of the there, the aspects of people that I worked with, that I really felt like I was gonna work harder because I really enjoyed their focus on my personal growth. And the importance of treating the team is a ah unit that was integral to making things naturally get better. Uh, and I found that that’s what I concentrate most on and try and, you know, foster that type of enthusiasm for learning and also a sort of a personal development perspective. Thio each person that I work with and rewarding people for and saying thanks to people for their help. And, you know, a simple is taking out junior doctors for dinner when you’ve been working with them on a rotation and saying, thank you so much for helping you know you’re doing a great job. Told me about what your plans are and being interested in what they’re doing. I find that’s a really rewarding part of my work. Is mentor ship and teaching?
Blake 0:56:46 – 0:57:10Yeah, amazing. We’re gonna I’m just gonna wander back to your your teenage ease. You said that your you know, your lungs used to blow up when you’re running. And you said that Now you’re cycling and running ridiculously long ways. So tell us about why and how like, what’s the longest run you’ve ever done?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:57:12 – 0:59:18I did. The Oxfam 100 k walk was what it was called, but with a group of guys, we did it as a run. Last year s O that was It was yeah, quite the stupid thing to do. But it was a great challenge to do. And I think what you said before about control you know something about my work that, as you say, you know, a lot of my work is not in control, but what I quite like about running and cycling as sports, apart from just hanging out with your mates, is your train and so forth is kind of the ease that there is in terms of typing into the computer 100 kilometer training plan. You know, what does it require to take? You know, someone’s come up with that idea before you know, to put online what you need to do in terms of a training plan and just to motivate myself to get out there and, you know, sort of cement Cem exercise time. If you just write that up on your calendar and you go out and train, it’s not like you’re going to become the fastest person out there running the 100 K. But it gives you a pretty good idea that actually, you know, if I build up from a half marathon to a marathon and then if I train up to a certain volume, I’m gonna die doing 100 k run. I’m, you know, took us 13 hours, and some of us had to walk with cramp and felt terrible at times. But it was a great thing to do, and I’ve done a couple of other ultramarathons like a 50 kilometer run in the on the outskirts of Hills Ville was up a mountain and again it was just sort of ah, fantastic sort of feeling, knowing that I could train the body following just a sort of a certain regimented sort of outline and the same with cycling. I’ve got a Alpine classic 200 K race ride coming up. I just kind of like the fact that I could say Okay, he’s a training plan. Here’s what I do and I’m gonna try and stick to that.
Andrew Weickhardt 0:59:19 – 0:59:44See how I go and you really measure your improvement in these sort of areas on at the same time, divert the mind from a stressful day at work and hang out with your friends if you cycle and so forth. So it’s mean it’s being good. And I don’t think anyone would have predicted that I would become that sort of person. And probably my wife would be the first to say that I’ve become probably a little bit too obsessive, and I’ll acknowledge that on. I did promise you
Blake 0:59:44 – 0:59:48say that what gives her the clues that you’ve become too obsessive?
Andrew Weickhardt 0:59:49 – 1:00:26Yeah, if it’s not the 10 to 12 hours on the bike a week. More recently, it’s probably the fact that, you know, obsessively tracking Strada fitness rates and heart rates and so forth. And I think all site it like everything in life there’s a balance, isn’t there. And so this year I’m over doing it, probably over doing it, because it’s been a stressful year. But I think next year I promised her that I was gonna stick toe no more than four or five hours on the bike. And I promise that I’ll do some weights or pump classes at home and Pilates, so we’ll see how it goes. Okay,
Blake 1:00:26 – 1:00:29Canvas, Come back to us on that one. How far’s Greg run?
Andrew Weickhardt 1:00:31 – 1:00:42Hey, Heys, run a marathon, Andi size Dave that Who’s run the fastest? Would you ask eso
Blake 1:00:42 – 1:00:47You’ve smashed them in terms of time in the marathon and you’ve gone the furthest.
Andrew Weickhardt 1:00:48 – 1:01:59Yeah, I’d laugh at me, though, because, uh, this is a great one from your brother’s right? When I ran the Melbourne Marathon last year and I ran it using my heart rate monitor and watching a GPS watch. And so I ran the marathon. I was timing it toe perfection. Thank you. I’m gonna break three hours 30 here. I got to the point where I watch said 42.1 K or whatever, and I thought, yeah, boom. Three hours. 27. But the problem was that I was still outside the M C G. And like so my watch was calculating on a different time frame. So I still had to run the sort of struggle around the M c G. So then when I got around the m c g A. You know, the time comes up and it’s three hours 30 30 or something like that. You know, I’m over my three hour 30 mark. And so you know what I was saying to my brothers when they were like, How do you go on like 3 27? And then, of course, they’re the first to look online and actually like, Hang on, we found out they’re the only people that actually looked online up My official timing there like, No, you didn t o keep you honest, don’t they? How the hell
Blake 1:02:00 – 1:02:17we’re really grateful for the amount of time that you spent with. It’s just a couple of a couple of quick questions before we have to wrap up. So yeah, the stuff that you focus on today said, blow the belt, Um, and there’s, uh is there a foundation?
Andrew Weickhardt 1:02:17 – 1:03:33Yeah, there’s a charity which is set up by the Clinical Trials Network here in Australia and New Zealand. Um, which is, uh, umbrella organization is called ends up and we set up clinical trials. Um, that focus on innovative trials for men and women with these type of cancers. And every year they have charity fundraising events under this umbrella sort of fundraising group called below the Belt. And they’ve raised up to die nearly half a million dollars. And what’s amazing about this and credit toe in Davis and others The doctors that came up with this idea that was in research it’s so pivotal toe have some funding capital for a a good idea that just doesn’t have the right amount of data to support a grant that would get enough money to set up the trial. That needs to answer the question definitively. So, uh, been involved in several fundraising activities that they have done, but also a recipient of some of those funds. And it’s great to start a little pilot research trial and then try and get data and go on to bigger and larger trials. And that’s what I really like getting involved in.
Blake 1:03:33 – 1:03:38Yeah, that’s super cool. So if there’s any of our listeners who want to do. And how did they do that
Andrew Weickhardt 1:03:39 – 1:04:01through the ends up website? So I and said U P there’s links thio all about fundraising activities and always grateful to receive support. And I think my friends are sick and tired of donating for another stupid bike ride for Andrew today. So always grateful if I can find someone else to help cool
Blake 1:04:02 – 1:04:27My old man and my father in law. Both were both had prostate cancer and that were traded for it. And they’re both okay, um, so do those men out there that are listening to this. Do you have any advice on what What men over 40 should dio when it comes Thio looking after themselves. And,
Andrew Weickhardt 1:04:28 – 1:06:19yeah, I met with, um over the age of 40. Should certainly start entering a discussion with their GP about the right timing for a check off the PSC for prostate cancer. There’s a little bit of controversy about what’s called TSA screening in the community for prostate cancer, and that relates to the fact that some men with a slightly elevated P s a once they say have the conversation with their doctor um might then end up getting anxious, obviously and frightened. End up having a biopsy that either doesn’t show cancer but predisposes them to risk of infection. Well, they might have a biopsy that shows there is cancer and have an operation for that, but that cancer that was found would never actually impact on their length of life. And so, um, the key things, though to remember now is that and particularly important is this particularly Australia as well? We’re pretty good at once. The P s a is elevated if you went to go and see your GP and typically the age over the age of 50 is what’s recommended. Um, we’re pretty good at working out with a memory as well as a minimally invasive biopsy done in a different way than how it used to be done with less risk of infection, of working out which cancers are the pussycats in which are the tigers. And so the pussycats. You can kind of observed Andi and monitor and put on a so what’s called a surveillance program, you know, come back in 6 to 12 months. Don’t you don’t need an operation, So I think the concerns about testing have been pushed to the side of it by that sort of change in approach.
Andrew Weickhardt 1:06:19 – 1:06:40And I think there are a lot of other health reasons by men our age should go to their GP and once every couple of years, have a discussion not only about p s a testing, but simple things, like, you know, colonoscopy over the age of 50 or, you know, fecal occult blood tests and so forth that important. And I think we’re all pretty bad at doing that as men.
Blake 1:06:42 – 1:06:56We are, um, one more. So you’ve done some amazing things throughout your life. And you, Khoury, what you gonna do next? Well,
Andrew Weickhardt 1:06:57 – 1:07:52I’m looking forward in the next 5 to 10 years in being involved in these smaller clinical trials here in Australia that lead toe bigger trials and, um, or influential on a world scale. So, you know, it’s important to try and generate ideas, and this is what I’m sort of focusing on now is work with laboratory research groups. Come up with cool ideas that might not have been thought about before, create a small clinical troll here, and then try and convince sailor, you know, big drug company or a larger trial with, you know, research funding to really change the management of how we trade cancer. Onda, that would be amazing. You know, if you’re that person who came up with this innovative idea on bond, that’s what I’d love to be involved in going forward.
Blake 1:07:54 – 1:08:08Cool. Well, Andrew, uh, I said a little earlier. We’re so grateful for the time that you spent with us today. From my perspective and next perspective, it’s a super inspiring story. And, um, thank you so much for the work that you die.
Andrew Weickhardt 1:08:09 – 1:08:10Thanks for having me.
Nik 1:08:10 – 1:08:18Pleasure. Thanks, Andrew. Best place this place. Yes.
Blake 1:08:26 – 1:08:28Andrew Wyke. Art. What a man.
Nik 1:08:28 – 1:08:29Yeah. He
Blake 1:08:29 – 1:08:30really is so humble.
Nik 1:08:31 – 1:08:33Very humble. Very accomplished.
Blake 1:08:34 – 1:08:40Lost seven. Yeah. And you knew him years and years ago. Years and years. First,
Nik 1:08:40 – 1:08:431998 which was my first year of
Blake 1:08:43 – 1:08:43unique.
Nik 1:08:44 – 1:09:18And he was the president of Queens College, which is where I was going to live. And so my first experience of uni life Waas led by Andy and his team taking me through a week and yeah, the O week escapades aside, what I saw from all of the students studying medicine compared to what I was doing when I had, I don’t know, 10 to 15 hours of contact hours a week where you gotta lectures and toots and then do a little bit of study. Occasionally you saw the medical students go off
Andrew Weickhardt 1:09:18 – 1:09:19like it was work
Nik 1:09:19 – 1:09:40nine o’clock. They’d come back in the afternoon. They probably come back to get a meal or something. And then when everyone else was not doing anything else at night, no study, the medical guys were all together off doing more shoots at night. And that’s something that’s hard to appreciate. The amount of hours that Andrew and in particular had to put in and
Blake 1:09:40 – 1:09:42continues to put in,
Nik 1:09:42 – 1:09:55obviously loves it. He’s got an amazing growth mindset, and that’s why he’s able to do the things that he does today. It’s great determination. Sure, there’s natural talent in there, but it
Blake 1:09:56 – 1:09:57Yeah, it wouldn’t it
Nik 1:09:57 – 1:10:00wouldn’t work unless you put in all of that time and effort.
Blake 1:10:01 – 1:10:37It takes a special person Thio carry all of the qualities that he has in order to achieve what he does like you’ve got super smart, the determination, the resilience. But then there’s the latest ship, the emotional intelligence to deal with his thes people in a crisis on a day to day basis and the bedside manner Thio helped, um, see the light at the end of the tunnel in the end of the day. So I love that one of my very, very favorite episodes ever.
Nik 1:10:38 – 1:10:39You’re not gonna start ranking them now, you
Blake 1:10:39 – 1:10:46black. Well, I’m not gonna rank them. No, I won’t. Anyway, I can’t wait to next week.
Andrew Weickhardt 1:10:47 – 1:10:48May 2. Who’s on?
Blake 1:10:48 – 1:10:53Can’t tell you anyway. Look for the next white saying it. They then by
Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe